Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Best Chocolate Cake for a Tea Party

For Anita's Tea Party celebration, the only fitting thing I could think of was this divine Chocolate Cake which I have blogged about before. This time though, I made it so my daughter's teachers could have a tea party celebration for Teacher's Day!

I have seen previous Teacher's Days in Delhi and the gifts and flowers it seems to entail in this showy city.....I don't subscribe to the idea at all. My mother has been a teacher all her working life and I know for sure that the one thing they do like is genuine appreciation for all the hard work they put in - the one upmanship among parents is, to say the least, annoying and sometimes embarassing.

My daughter is still very young though and it is a little difficult to explain to her why we don't necessarily have to do what everyone else is doing. So, I thought of involving her in baking a homemade chocolate cake instead, as a token of her love and appreciation - something which the other teachers could partake in as well, instead of making it a personal gift. She was happy to do all the mixing and measuring (and licking of bowl!) and took genuine pride at the end of it all in the soft, pillowy cake which emerged out of the oven. Lets raise a toast to freeing ourselves from the pack and doing what's right instead.

This time around, I added some whole wheat flour and cut back on the butter (as promised the last time) and it didn't make a difference. It is still a gorgeous chocolate cake - one you should try the next time you want someone to know, they're special.

 Chocolate Cake

Refined flour (maida) - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
1/2 cup cocoa powder, (I used Cadbury's)
1/2 tsp coffee powder (instant)
1 cup boiling water
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Butter at room temperature - 1 cup
Castor sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 2

1. Take a large bowl and beat the butter in it with an electric mixed on medium for about half a minute.
2. Add the sugar gradually and cream together till shiny and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat the first well before adding the second one.
3. Meanwhile, heat the water till it is boiling and then pour over the cocoa powder in a bowl. Mix well till dissolved. Cool and then mix in the vanilla essence.
4. Sieve the flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Add the flour mix a little at a time to the butter sugar egg mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, beating continuously with the mixer on medium continuously. When it is combined well, beat on low for another half a minute.
5. Pour the cake batter into 2 pans (I used a 8" round pan and a smaller rectangular pan) which have been lined with parchment paper on the bottom and greased and floured on the sides.
If not using parchment paper on the bottom (I didn't have any this time), grease and flour the bottom well, instead. This cake is very soft and if not lined or greased, may break when you try to turn it out.
6. Pre heat the oven to 190C and bake for about 25 minutes - a toothpick inserted should come out moist but not uncooked. Cool completely before attempting to take it out - this is very important.
7. Warm slightly before serving.


Anita said...

Fabulous cake! It is special when students do something like this! I still get calls on Teacher's Day from students I taught years ago and it just makes my day that they remember me on this day!

It is perfect for the party. Thanks, Miri!
(I would have found the link...I invariably read through! :) )

sra said...

Good for you, Miri! When we were in school, we used to take flowers for our teachers from the home garden quite often, don't think we took them anything specially for Teacher's Day - we had a function in school anyway that day.

Happy Cook said...

Looks beautiful and love the ark colour.

indosungod said...

Teacher's Day and gifts? India is soon set to beat the US as gift capital of the world.

The cake looks delicious Miri. I bet it was the best teachers's gift not that you are competing :)

Sayantani said...

we used to wish our teachers on this special day with handmade cards. the cake looks delicious and a very tempting tea party set up.

Miri said...

Thanks Anita - and yes, I'm sure you do, but just that sometimes one doesn't have the time to click on all the links!

Miri said...

Sayanatani - we gave hand made cards as well and so did my daughter this year (now that she can write her name LOL)

Miri said...

Thanks Indo :)

BongMom said...

Did she take this for her teacher ? How sweet.

I love that teapot, and of course the cake

Aparna said...

Chocolate cake has to be the best!
I don't remember celebrating Teachers' Day as a kid, but my daughter always takes roses and handmade cards for her tachers.

Arch said...

Oh S's school doesnt even entertain such gifts, so its good..He made a card for his teacher and I wished my school teacher who's on fb...she is a true inspiration...and you're right, all they want is genuine appreciation...

Jayashree said...

I totally understand the sentiment behind not doing what everyone else is doing. Baking a cake for your daughter's teacher is a wonderful idea and I am sure it is something the teacher will remember for years to come. My daughter and I made a card for her teacher this year.
Love your teapot.

Jaya Wagle said...

I am a sucker for chocolate coffee combinations. This looks so divine. I am sure your daughter's teachers felt touched at this personal gesture. And nothing like getting the kids involved in the baking.

I think we used to have a teacher's day function in school for which we would rehearse plays and dance bits. Don't remember taking flowers and gifts for them.

Here, at my son's pre-school, they give out a list of candies and preference for particular stores' gift cards, as way of suggesting what to get for the teachers for X-Mas and the last day of school!!